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Defending A Sex Crime In California


It definitely takes a certain strategy when you’re charged with a sex crime in one of the Los Angeles courthouses and it can’t be the same strategy every time.  There’s a lot of different factors that play into exactly how you’re going to handle the case, how you’re going to approach the prosecutor, what type of motions you’re going to file and how the client will interact with the case as well.

Prior Criminal Record

You’ve got to look at the client’s prior criminal record.  Hopefully, there is no record.  But, if there is a record, obviously that will play into how the sex crime case will handle  You have to look at who the alleged victim is, the injuries to the alleged victim.  You also have to look at who’s prosecuting the case.  Is it the downtown prosecutors who do a lot of sex crime cases?  Or, is it going to be one of the local LA courts that just handles the jurisdiction for that particular case?  So, you have to look at what you’re up against before you can really make strategic decisions and moves to defend a sex crime case in Los Angeles.

Sex Offender Registration

One of the biggest factors that a lot of people think about when they talk about defending their sex crime case is, whether if they take a resolution in the case, they’re going to have to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life pursuant to Penal Code Section 290.  How the new three-tier system may play into the sex registration.  There’s a bunch of different factors that play into sex crime cases, such as who has to register, who doesn’t have to register,  and then of course, another concern for people if they have a sex crime pending in LA is, are they going to have to spend custody time?  Will it be time in county jail?  Will it be time in prison?

Plea Bargaining

So, there’s a whole slew of different concerns if you’re charged with a sex crime in Los Angeles — not just jail time, not just prison time, not just sex registration, you also have to factor in is this the case you’re going to risk taking to trial, because trials in sex crime cases can be very fruitful if you can get a not-guilty verdict.

But, if you’re found guilty, you lose a lot of negotiating power and now the case is in the hands of the judge and a lot of these judges are very harsh when it comes to sex crime punishment.  If you don’t take a deal in the beginning, you can bet that your punishment will be much more severe in the end once the judge gets their hands on you and gets to take you into custody and punish you.

Another big issue that comes up in the defense of sex crimes in Los Angeles is, are the prosecutors going to be able to get other offense that you may or may not have committed and against you, and the answer is yes.  Evidence per Section 1108 let’s them get in other offenses that are alleged against you even if you weren’t convicted of them.

So, somebody could have just made an allegation against you either at the civil or criminal level or both, and if it relates to the case you’re being charged with, you can bet the prosecutors are going to do everything they can to try to get that particular case in against you and use it to make you look bad and get a conviction in the current sex crime prosecution.  So, you’ve got to be prepared to argue against any other offenses coming in against you.  Another thing that the prosecutors love to do in sex crime cases is, try to get multiple victims in on the same case to make it much more likely that they can get a conviction.

So, these are all important considerations if you’re charged with a sex crime in Los Angeles.  Your best bet is to talk to your attorney about it.  Contact our California sex crime defense lawyers to review your case. Get your strategy together and begin from the beginning to make the right moves to defend yourself if you’re charged with a sex crime in Los Angeles.

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Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

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